Thursday, April 24, 2008

Not knowing when to quit

When I first joined the Bournemouth language school in 1961, there were some very odd characters on the teaching staff, but I want to talk about one in particular, Guy Dean.
He was a large lumbering man with a fruity voice and an inclination to fussiness. In his day he had been very fit, doing a lot of hill-walking and so on, and he was also a very accomplished dancer (ballroom style).
By the time I met him he was well into his fifties, but still something of a hit with the young Swiss girls who constituted a large proportion of our students. At school dances and similar events, he danced the night away with one girl after another, and I quite envied him his energy and his boyish enthusiasm.
As the years went by, he became more lumbering, more pernickety, and somewhat more irritating to his colleagues (Not to me, I always liked him).
But he continued to "court" the girls at school parties and dances, until the Principal (a fiery lady called Paddy Bayley) told him bluntly that he was becoming a nuisance to the girls, and that he should start to "act his age". Of course he didn't, because he was still 21 years old inside, because he didn't know how to stop, because he couldn't see what the problem was.
I guess it's classic old scrote behaviour. Guy Dean is very much in my mind at the moment, because I fear I am running the risk of similar foolishness. Come on, Allsop! Get a grip! Act your age - if, that is, you can still remember what it is.

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